Romello Steyn dies after lengthy battle with cancer

Khosi for life - Romello Steyn and Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

In what can only be described as a David versus Goliath battle, Romello Steyn (14) diagnosed with cancer in 2015, lived his last days trying to fulfill all his dreams. One of his dreams was to return to school following the amputation of his leg in 2016.

The young boy reached this milestone and sister Shentinique Steyn (19), described him as being overjoyed at the chance to lead some semblance of a normal life after enrolling at Kliptown Senior Secondary School earlier this year. The disease would have the last say, though, as Romello had to be hospitalised and finally removed from school altogether.

His outlook on the future remained undimmed as he had more to accomplish and see. One of his fervent wishes was to meet his soccer idol, Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper and the rest of the squad at their base in Naturena on February 15.

Steyn suffered tremendous pain but looked forward to meeting his idol. Community leaders Cheryl Pillay, Liesl Valloo and others arranged to make this dream a reality for the ailing teenager.


In the video footage below, the irrepressible Steyn can be seen, barely managing to suppress his excitement at the Kaizer Chiefs Village in Naturena.

The disease had a profound effect on a family who, for the first 13 years of his life, had a healthy son who enjoyed life as any child does, getting up to mischief and enjoying his favourite pastime, soccer.

Sister Shentinique said, “We stayed home more as a family because of his illness and his brave struggle made me a more patient and humble person.”

“Cancer affected the whole family very badly, we just could not stand to see him suffer like that.”

Local Drug Action Committee chairperson, Cheryl Pillay recalled how the excited youngster refused to hand over his signed jersey after offering to have his name and number printed on it. The goodie bag he received and the hospitality of the players certainly made an impact on his young life.

Steyn’s other wish was to write an inspirational book, detailing the struggles he faced as the debilitating disease ravaged his body, in the hope that other sufferers would be motivated to fight and not give up the battle against cancer.

The young boy’s struggle with the disease ended at about 9 pm after his meeting with Kaizer Chiefs players and his book would not be written.

Romello is survived by his parents Geraldine and Sheldon Steyn and his siblings Shentinique, Geralldon, and Lurrel Steyn.

The David in this story certainly triumphed over Goliath, although Romello Steyn’s young life was ultimately cut short.

Residents from Eldorado Park, through their unwavering commitment to making his last days memorable, have demonstrated that, together, Eldos is a community whose leaders and people can overcome any adversity and amidst seemingly hopeless circumstances, defeat the Goliaths in their various guises we face daily.

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Kaizer Chiefs players laid out the red carpet for Romello Steyn.

Mom Geraldine Steyn and Romello received a warm welcome at the Kaizer Chiefs Village.

Khosi for life – Romello Steyn and Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

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